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date: 22 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter argues for the import and value of studying the Writings, the third canonical division of the Hebrew Bible. Special attention is given to the postexilic background of the Writings and the history of scholarship devoted to this literature as canon in the last fifty years. The challenges of studying this division are named and discussed, including the following: diversity and difference within the corpus; the puzzle of its structure; the use of many methods to evaluate and articulate its characteristics and message; its relationship to Torah and Prophets; and the much debated history of canonization. The significance of studying the Writings for both scholars and the faith communities that use them as scripture is a constant theme.

Keywords: Writings, canon, scripture, postexilic, canonical criticism, pluralism, order of the Writings, shape of the Writings, reception history

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